In the winter I sit at the computer most afternoons. The boys do their homework, watch a bit of the goggle box, play with Lego and eat snacks. I write. Bits and pieces. Sometimes actually finishing something.
These days I am outside. I sit on the decking outside the back door reading a book as the boys jump on the trampoline or play with the water sprinkler. On the really, really hot days they stay inside watching TV, opting to wait till after 6pm before they go out. Then it’s 10pm or after before they come in, filthy, happy and demanding cereal with cold milk or hot chocolates with loads of marshmallows. They always, even at 10pm, take them outside to the garden table and eat out there. I know once they do this, I can say goodbye (or goodnight) to another half hour at least before they come inside.
I love the way rain feels on my face. I like the bite of an icy morning. I feel calm when it’s the stillness of winter. But there is something special about summer sun.
Something encouraging, driving, happy and warm. Something alive.
So far this summer we have eaten our tea outside. A tea of pizza with a glass of wine for me. Swam every day. Bought water pistols. Attended birthday parties. Declined paddling pool invitations because it was too hot to drive and the boys were happy at home. Baked brownies.
Discussed our own holidays. Played football. Washed school bags, lunch bags, and uniforms and packed them away. Pre-ordered some books on line. Lost two teeth. Same boy.
Discovered what a bouncy castle burn feels like. Went cycling in the evenings. Ate lots and lots of breakfast cereal. And pancakes. Made home-made ice-pops. Read books.
We aren’t even finished the first week of school holidays yet and I am already looking forward to the rest of the break.
There are fights and loud bust-ups followed by threats of treat embargos and an end to the swimming pool. Lots of loud complaints about being bored. Until 6pm and then I don’t see them for dust.
When they ask why we don’t do anything in the afternoons I tell them it is because I want to sit at home, outside in the glorious sunshine, soaking it up and in. Reading my book and relaxing.
After all that is what summer is for.